A Healthy Blog

Massachusetts health care — wonky, with a healthy dose of reality

The final hours – Senate budget debate

The final hours – Senate budget debate

May 21, 2009

The Senate is quickly wrapping up their budget debate. Thank you to all the Senators for their work on restoring health and human services this week with the new revenues. HCFA supports three additional budget items that cost no money. Please contact your Senator today and urge them to support the following amendments.

    1. Amendment EHS 690 for an Office of Health Equity. The language to maintain the Office of Health Equity was included in the House budget.
    2. Amendment EHS 621 for Children’s Medical Security Plan which was included in both H1 and the House budget. This amendment standardizes administration of the Children’s Medical Security Plan (CMSP), to bring the program into line with other programs administered by MassHealth. Additionally, it gives EHS the option to reexamine benefits offered under CMSP and to eliminate unrealistic caps on services (such as the currently mandated $200 annual cap on prescription drugs for children).
    3. Amendment EHS 700 for FMAP Transparency. The United States federal government’s economic stimulus package will give states additional money for urgent health care needs. The enhanced Federal Medical Assistance Percentage (FMAP) funds are intended to be invested in MassHealth, health care, and public health. This amendment creates an identifiable, transparent FMAP fund to: secure jobs; maintain health care reform’s achievements; protect essential safety net services; preserve funding for our hospitals and community health centers; and fund cost-effective public health initiatives.

- Mehreen Butt